You may have heard about the “internet slowdown” that is
happening tomorrow. While the term “slowdown” isn’t accurate
because the internet will be running at full speed, many
prominent sites like Netflix, Vimeo, Etsy, and more will be
displaying a symbolic “loading” symbol to protest recent actions
by the FCC to eliminate network neutrality.
Network neutrality is the idea that the internet operates as
freely as it has since its inception. Opponents have recently
made significant progress in lobbying the FCC to loosen
protective restrictions, allowing Internet Service Providers like
Comcast and Verizon to assign sites into different “lanes” at
arbitrary speeds based on their own criteria, including “pay to
Such a proposition is truly alarming. Unknown to many, speed has
a huge effect on usability and conversions. According to Fast
Company, Amazon’s calculated that a page taking one second
longer to load could cost $1.6 billion in sales each year.
Allowing an internet service provider (ISP) to choose which sites
would go fast and which would be rate-limited would have a
profound effect on the internet as we know it. Users would shift
from their preferred sites to sites that their ISP decided should
load faster, either for news, shopping, music, etc.
So far, comments to the FCC are overwhelmingly in support of
sustaining network neutrality: 99% in favor according to the
Sunlight Foundation. It is only a small but powerful minority
that wants new rules to leverage unprecedented power over the
free flow of information.
Tomorrow, the internet will respond.
As a company that exists to empower communication and connect
communities, and as one who works with many small nonprofits, we
will be raising our voice in support of sustaining network
neutrality. We will be installing a widget on our own site, and I
will be taking to the airwaves with a few courageous local TV
stations who are going to cover the issue.
If you would like to show your support by participating in
tomorrow’s slowdown, we will be happy to help you install a
small, unobtrusive widget on your site. Users will see this
widget briefly when they first visit, and they can close it out
and go about their business. Learn more at https://www.battleforthenet.com/sept10th/
Thank you for your time to learn about this important matter.
“Mac” (short for Michael Alan Clemmens) is the CEO of Digital
Deployment. He is responsible for the growth of the company,
recruiting and retaining top talent, and standing for Digital
Deployment’s culture and values.
Mac’s passion is empowering institutions, associations, and
non-profits to communicate online and better connect with their
users while teaching them how to build measurable and
sustainable business value.